From my travel journal:
11am ish we caught the train to the (UNESCO World Heritage) Sintra. Although it is only 45 minutes away from Lisbon we may as well have been in another world, on someone else's vacation. Sintra was moist and foggy. This is the land of the fairytale forest. Tall pine trees, tropical shrubs, vines rambling over mossy stone walls. Everything smelled fresh. All the leaves and damp pine needles on the forest floor filled the air with earthy fragrance. Fog blew through the town. A reprieve from the bright hot sun of Lisbon. Nice.
From the tiny train station we caught a taxi. With no plan in mind I requested a tour of our romantic gothic surroundings from our driver Antonio. Off we went!
Storybookish Sintra was a summer retreat for kings and queens of Portugal and Moorish lords before them. The small village is scattered across a series of hills and dense forest. Antonio took us on a windy drive past the central part of Sintra with it's villas and cottages tucked behind stone walls and lining lush narrow streets. Bright flowers were exclamation marks on the cool grey.
We arrived at a viewpoint overlooking Sintra and several other small villages. In between breaks in the fog and clouds, the spotlight sun moved from one village to another.
tiles at Pene Palace, Sintra
It's a velvety 66 degrees tonight in Los Angeles. The sound of lively mariachis are drifting over the hills as I write this. The windows of Moss Cottage are open wide to capture these last precious weeks of summer. Thanks for being such a generous and patient audience for my travel installments.